Most artists start out young – but Rahul and Rohan Raju got a very early head start, complete with receiving recognition from a member of the royal family.
Rahul and Rohan Raju are just 12 and 10 years old respectively, who go to school at the Ryan Private School. The pair are mentored at the Abu Dhabi Art Hub by artist Jack Lee, who is also known as RR, and to date they have already participated in eight exhibitions, all in the capital.
“We started painting from the age of five. We used to see our mother, who is self-taught, painting and we started playing with colours and brushes,” said Rohan.
“We both love nature very much, especially animals, desert sand and flowers,” said Rahul. “We like to do something new and keep experimenting with new styles and techniques”.
The two caught the eye of the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, HH Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan who bought their art.
“Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan came as the chief guest for one of our exhibitions organized by Art Hub and Sofitel Hotel to support the Make a Wish Foundation. Ten International artists and ten Emirati artists participated in the exhibition. Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan selected three art pieces, and one of them was ours,” said Rahul. He asked us curiously about the way we do the paintings. We felt very happy and honoured to know that he bought one of our artworks for his personal collection. It was like a dream come true”.
The two say they are influenced by the art of Raja Ravi Varma, Leonardo da Vinci, Jack Lee and Bassam Al Selewi. They seem to be comfortable with balancing their time between school and art. After returning home they complete homework, spend a bit of time playing and then accompany their parents to art exhibitions and events around the city.
“We are getting ready to give another exhibition at Abu Dhabi Art Hub in May 2015, and we’ve been selected to show our paintings at an art exhibition in Camden, London in July 2015,” said Rohan.
The painters can be reached by email:firstname.lastname@example.org.